Kevin Spacey wins bid to set aside High Court ruling in sexual abuse claim

Kevin Spacey has won a bid to set aside a judgment against him in a High Court sexual abuse claim made after his solicitors did not file his defence in time.

In 2022, the Oscar-winning actor was sued by a man at the High Court in London who claimed he had been sexually assaulted by Mr Spacey and suffered “psychiatric damage”.

The civil claim was paused after Mr Spacey was charged – and later acquitted – in criminal proceedings of a number of sexual offences alleged by four men between 2001 and 2013.

At a hearing on Tuesday, the court heard that the actor’s lawyers at the firm Carter Ruck were due to file a written defence after the end of the criminal proceedings but had failed to do so.

A default judgment was subsequently entered against Mr Spacey in the civil case on his liability earlier this year.

Adam Speker KC, for Mr Spacey, made a bid to set aside the default ruling, describing the failure to file the paperwork as a “genuine error by his solicitor”.

The barrister told the hearing in London it would be unfair to proceed to a damages hearing and the contested allegations should be taken to trial.

Lifting the default civil judgment, Judge David Cook said that the lawyers had “quite frankly mucked up”.

He said: “There can be no excuse in my view for the date being overlooked.

“The simple fact of the matter is this is a claim where the defendant’s solicitors have made an error.

“In my view, that error should not be visited upon the defendant.”

Judge Cook added: “The interests of justice require that those allegations go forward to trial and the judgment in default should, therefore, be lifted.”

Kevin Spacey
The civil claim was paused after Kevin Spacey was charged – and later acquitted – in criminal proceedings of a number of sexual offences alleged by four men between 2001 and 2013 (PA)

Claire Glasgow of Fieldfisher who is representing the claimant, said after the hearing: “We are pleased that the judge recognised the seriousness of the claim and directed the court to proceed to trial.

“Our client is seeking justice in the civil courts for serious allegations against Mr Spacey, regardless of the findings of the criminal trial.”

The hearing comes after Mr Spacey denied allegations of inappropriate behaviour ahead of the broadcast of a Channel 4 documentary.

The programme, titled Spacey Unmasked, began airing on Monday and is said to feature testimony from men “regarding events they say took place between 1976 and 2013″.

Ahead of the broadcast the 64-year-old actor, in an interview with former GB News presenter Dan Wootton, said: “I take full responsibility for my past behaviour and my actions, but I cannot and will not take responsibility or apologise to anyone who’s made up stuff about me or exaggerated stories about me.

“I’ve never told someone that if they give me sexual favours, then I will help them out with their career, never.”

Mr Spacey added: “I’ve clearly hooked up with some men who thought they might get ahead in their careers by having a relationship with me.

“But there was no conversation with me, it was all part of their plan, a plan that was always destined to fail, because I wasn’t in on the deal.”

On Thursday, the US star claimed he had “repeatedly requested” that Channel 4 give him more than seven days to respond to the allegations made about him in their documentary and said the broadcaster refused.